1. The 1st Session of the Republic of Korea-Georgia Joint Commission on Bilateral Economic Cooperation (hereinafter “Joint Commission”) took place in Seoul on December 23. Mr. Yun Kang-hyeon, Deputy Minister for Economic Affairs of the ROK Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Mr. Genadi Arveladze, Deputy Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, were the head delegates to the meeting that brought together 16 officials of relevant government agencies and organizations of the two countries.
° The Joint Commission was convened for the first time to discuss ways to promote bilateral economic cooperation as part of the follow-up on the Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Korea and the Government of Georgia on Economic Cooperation brought into force in May.
2. During the Joint Commission Session, the two sides extensively discussed ways to fulfill the potential for substantive bilateral cooperation in such areas as trade, investment, energy, tourism, education, culture, small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), transportation, logistics, and information and communications technology (ICT).
° The two sides agreed to work together for large-scale infrastructure projects participated by Korean enterprises, including the Nenskra Hydropower Plant Project and the E-60 Highway modernization project, to become successful cases in promoting economic cooperation between the two countries.
° The Georgian side introduced their policy to improve the environment for business activities and foreign investment as well as the ongoing transportation infrastructure projects to enhance connectivity of Eurasia; and voiced hope for investment and participation by a larger number of Korean companies.
° The two sides agreed to make efforts to lay the institutional groundwork for more robust cooperation on tourism, a promising sector for cooperation.
° The two sides welcomed the fact that by concluding the Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of SMEs and Startups of the Republic of Korea and the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia on Cooperation in the Fields of Small and Medium Enterprises and Innovation on the same day, the two countries laid an institutional foundation for bilateral cooperation on SMEs and innovation. In addition, they discussed specific ways to expand cooperation between SMEs and between supporting organizations of the two countries.
° The two sides agreed to seek more concrete cooperation in the ICT sector, including by sharing their policies and experiences, and to actively utilize cooperation through such regional mechanisms as the Korea-Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) ICT Cooperation Program.
3. The launch of the Joint Commission is expected to help expand and deepen economic cooperation with Georgia, which is located at a cultural crossroad between Europe and Asia as well as at a center of transportation and logistics.